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New interactive map tracks opioid overdose cases in Tempe

Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-17 12:09:37-05

Joel Navarro spends a lot of his time as a Tempe City Councilman. He's also a firefighter so he sees first hand how bad the opioid problem really is. "Obviously we see the increase," said Navarro. 

You can see the increase on the city's new opioid interactive map that just launched. You can pinpoint age groups, gender, neighborhoods where there's reported overdoses - even the days where there's more overdoses. "It's out in the suburbs," said Navarro. "It's out in areas where you probably wouldn't imagine. It doesn't discriminate."

The data on the website was collected over the last year in the city. There were 535 potential opioid abuse cases in Tempe. The numbers show it's not college kids overdosing, it's mostly adult men 25-54 years-old.

For some reason the city sees a spike with men overdosing on Tuesdays. Navarro says there's no explanation why but he says other cities in the U.S. are also seeing a spike on the same day. It's that type of random information that could help fight the crisis.

"We have the ability to now funnel it to the county or certain programs that specifically can help a person with their certain addiction problem," said Navarro. 

The website is for everyone to use as a resource. Tempe is making the website template available to other Valley cities so they can also track their numbers.